Are you planning to walk the Camino de Santiago and don't know what to pack? Here you will find the best ultralight Camino packing list!
I walked the Camino de Santiago (French Way) at the end of September.
The starting point of my Camino Frances route was in the French town of San Juan de Port.
I walked 800 kilometers.
It's important to understand that you walk 25km every day on average.
You come to travel, to experience Spain and the Camino de Santiago.
You do not have to carry more than you need.
On the Camino French way, there are a lot of towns that provide you with accommodation so there is no need to carry unnecessary weight and the variety of restaurants and bars or places that can be stocked in terms of food and drink that pass every day you can eat during the stops.
The Camino de Santiago is different from other hikes I have done thanks to these things that I mentioned.
Every day you go through several different towns which allows you to travel with as minimal as possible as there is nothing to keep food in a bag for a few days or a drink beyond what is needed.
The end of September is an ideal time to walk on the Camino de Santiago Frances.
As we get closer to the end of October you start to feel the temperature changes, especially in high areas so whoever walking the Camino de Santiago in September, take warm clothes with you.
The backpack is going to be your wardrobe and it is also going to contain all the things you will need.
He is going to be close to you and your back for many hours during the day.
Camino de Santiago is a route you walk day after day with the backpack on your back, if you have the option, invest in a good bag.
You should check if the bag that you have or the one you plan to buy is suitable for this type of trip.
The backpack is one of the most important things that will keep you healthy and make your walk easier.
Do not take too much, only what is needed and less than that.
Remember that you are the ones who have to carry everything you take.
Ask yourself if the same item that fits in the bag is important enough for you to carry it.
Also, the number of items you will take with you should not increase or decrease depending on the number of days you plan to travel.
Even if you go out for a month or even a week the number of objects should be the same. There is no reason not to.
Below you will see a list containing the necessary things, in my opinion, that are needed for the Camino de Santiago route and with which one can get along.
Do not carry more than you need, giving up the tent is unnecessary in the French way, compared to a sleeping bag.
You are going to walk a whole month and no one is interested in fashionable clothes, you do not want to carry heavy jeans or unnecessary shoes(I saw one pilgrim carry Air Jordan with him).
My backpack for The Camino Frances route was an Osprey 50-liter.
backpack size for camino de santiago
In my opinion, there is no need for more than 50L and you can get by with a 40L bag.
You are not in the desert, the Camino passes every day through towns and different places there is no need to take a larger bag than that.
In general, the bigger the bag, the more things you take, so it is always better for the bag to be smaller than necessary so that you do not take unnecessary things.
A 40-50 liter backpack should do the job.
Do I need a sleeping bag on the camino?
A sleeping bag is a must!
A small and light sleeping bag is the best option.
Most cheap accommodations do not provide bedding so you need to get organized in advance, Some places provide blankets and some do not.
If you are walking the Camino Frances during covid some of the Albergues do not distribute blankets, it depends on the particular province you are in Spain, each province in Spain has different rules in terms of the corona.
A sleeping bag will be your best friend.
It is advisable to take sleeping bags as lightweight as possible.
Highly recommend - my therm a rest sleeping bag, it is expensive but it is a sleeping bag that I know will stay with me for years and it is a long-term investment for any trip I will go on in the future.
Laundry is part of the Camino experience, doing laundry almost every day.
In many places, you will find a washing machine, dryer, and sink where you can wash.
Before walking the Camino everyone has this dilemma of whether to take trail running shoes or hiking boots.
Along the Camino, there is a wide range of surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, agricultural surfaces, gravel, dirt, etc.
This variety raises serious doubts in choosing the most suitable shoes that meet all the requirements of every one of the varieties of areas described.
The most important characteristics of the walking shoe chosen for the Camino is a well-padded shoe that will maintain our stability, soften the tread in rocky terrain and support our ankles along the Camino that amounts to about 800 km.
I have seen people hiking on all types of shoes, sneakers, hiking boots, and even crocs.
For me, there is no question. The trail running shoes are the winner.
I walked the Camino Frances with Salomon Speedcross 5 shoes and for me, they were perfect and did the job.
The advantage of trail running shoes is that they are very light shoes and if they get wet they dry quickly.
Do you need hiking poles on the camino?
I did not take hiking poles with me but a lot of people take them.
From my experience on other hikes it is the hiking poles helps with walking especially in the difficult sections.
The Hiking poles can be of help to you on the ups or downs.
In the ascents, the sticks seem to push you forward, and in the descents, they help stabilize you and ease the load created on the body.
On The French way, there is water everywhere, the water is great for drinking and there is no need to buy.
Bring a 1-liter bottle that you can refill each time.
No need to lug around with unnecessary bottles of water, I walked with a 1L bottle.
Of course, there are special places where you know that there is no supply of water such as in the section of the 18 km in the masseta but beyond that almost everywhere you will find water so there is no need to carry too much water.
On rainy days you can continue walking with the poncho.
I recommend you buy a poncho that is large enough and will cover both you and your backpack.
Some will say otherwise, preferring a raincoat and bag cover separately, A rain cover for a bag protects its outer side, sometimes the inner as well, but the waist and shoulder belts remain exposed and wet.
Unsympathetic when you have to keep going with the bag.
For me, the advantage of the poncho is that it covers everything.
do you need a tent on the camino de santiago?
For someone that travels a lot in nature and this is not my first hike and most of the time I like to sleep in my tent and do wild camping I realized very quickly that at least in the camino French way it is completely unnecessary, not only there are no places for it. It's just not worth that hassle.
The tent can stay for another hike.
Of course, those who are interested and still want to walk the Camino with a tent can do it, because everything is possible on the Camino.
After many years of traveling with completely normal socks, I decided that for the Camino walk I will buy quality socks.
You have no idea how much it makes a difference.
I did not know that socks are such a significant thing.
Still, when walking 800 miles it is advisable and worthwhile to invest in good socks.
Best socks for Camino de Santiago - Merino wool icebreaker socks, expensive but so good, do not stink, dress on the foot in an ideal way.
I don’t know if it's because of the socks or not but luckily during the whole way of the Camino I did not have even one blister, maybe it's just luck and has nothing to do with the socks but what's for sure I will not replace them anymore.
Public showers, every word is unnecessary.
In addition, in the evenings they will help ventilate your feet.
If you plan to hang out with them, invest in a comfortable flip-flop that dries quickly.
In almost every algebra you will be no matter if it is a public or private Albergue you will probably be required to leave your shoes outside and change into flip-flops before entering.
So flip-flops are a must in the Camino de Santiago.
Sometimes there will be a load on the hanging ropes and no fasteners will be left available.
Other times your clothes will not have time to dry so you can hang them on the bag to dry during the day.
Sometimes, whole symphonies are played at night, do yourself a favor and buy good earplugs.
You want to protect your face from the scorching sun. The road will not be shaded all the time and you will be exposed to a lot of suns.
There is a place to swim and it is a pleasure. Along the way, you will see plenty of streams, rivers, and people wading in the water, and even Albergues with a pool!
Leave this with the teddy bears at home, take something with you that if you get stuck it can be used for sleeping.
You stayed up late, everyone went to sleep, the room is dark and you need something from the bag? You will have a flashlight to help.
If you want to get up and start walking when it is still dark, it can happen, you have a flashlight that will light your way.
small and light, not something particularly pampering.
Don't have a fume towel? Take a face towel with you that will be used to wipe the body, it will dry faster.
Do you feel ascetic? Change the perception of thought, the question is how to look at it.
You should have a light towel that smells good and not one that will not dry out enough and will start to smell like stale cheese.
Take what you need but in a small way.
Leave the large bottle of shampoo at home. Any liquid that is in a large bottle can go into a smaller bottle.
Those who do not come from Europe and want to have a SIM card can do a local SIM in Spain.
I did it through the Vodafone company. They have different deals and they are quite cheap, along most of the way there is cellular signal.
The advantage of the SIM is that it can help in situations where you want to call a certain Albergue and book a place or contact friends you met during the camino.
Not something that is a must but an advantage for those who are interested.
Once you have organized all the items, put them into the bag, add a bottle full of water, and put the bag on your back.
Now, if it feels easy to you do not get excited and add more things, if it is easy it is great.
The lightweight gets a little different meaning after a few hours or days of walking.
It could also be that along the way you will be joined by some other items such as souvenirs or a coveted Spanish garment that will add weight.
heavy? Start thinking about whether there are things you can remove or replace with an easier alternative.
Being overweight is not something you take out of the house with.
Before you go to organize the bag, you can download my Camino de Santiago packing list in advance and stick to it.
A meticulous and concise list will keep the weight of a lightweight bag that is the secret of the way
In addition, be sure to go out with comfortable walking shoes that have already proven themselves.
The Camino de Santiago route is not the right time to test a new shoes.
Also, consider taking trekking poles with you that can make your walk easier and support you on the way if you get tired.
Read My Other Europe Blogs: